In an article published today in London's Sunday Times, author Shane Watson poses the question: "Why do we hate some women celebrities?" Watson argues that certain celebs, such as Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, and Victoria Beckham, are often victims of hateration from females across the globe, being cast as stuck-up, arrogant, spoiled, vile, or worse. But why the vitriol, Watson asks, what is it about these women, above all others, that makes them such targets for disdain?The argument that seems to pop up the most in Watson's article is insecurity on the part of female fans. As PR "guru" Max Gifford tells Watson, "You get a pretty girl, and the women will say, ‘Look at the size of her bum.’ It’s getting worse, because it’s increasingly difficult to be a woman these days — there are so many more opportunities for self-improvement, and the more pressure women feel, the nastier it gets.” Watson also lays part of the blame on celebrity culture and women's magazines, as she writes, "The media has to take some of the blame, with gossip magazines encouraging us to focus on women’s looks, bodies and clothes, rather than on the attributes we should be celebrating, such as kindness and wit," and notes that woman are a LOT tougher on celebrities who seem to have everything come easily to them. It's easy to hate on someone who appears to live a charmed life; our hate is merely a form of what we believe is innocent jealousy. You can go online and call Keira Knightley a stuck-up bitch even though you've never met her before, because the odds are, you never will, and she'll never know what you said. But does that make it okay? Does putting out negative energy toward any successful woman do any of us any good? When there are so many things to hate in this world, to get angry about, to fight against, do we really need to spend 30 minutes a day writing about that "nasty homewrecker" Sienna Miller? I know we've all had our slips; it's easy to forget that the women in the magazines and on the tv screens and in the Snap Judgment pictures are, well, women too. (Just like us!) And it's very easy to say, "She comes across as a bitch, and therefore I can call 'em like I see em." But Watson makes a fair point about the hypocrisy that comes along with celebrity disdain and worship: "One thing is certain, whatever the motives, we do ourselves a disservice by attacking one another. We tell ourselves we have our reasons, yet the truth is that you can never guarantee who is going to win women over and who is going to wind them up. Sarah Palin, anti-abortionist and bear-killer — how has she ended up on the rave list? Where exactly did Gwyneth Paltrow slip up? Angelina Jolie is surely no friend to women, yet we’d rather save our sniping for the harmless toy-dog-owner Geri Halliwell." In the end, Watson says, "Maybe, in the end, there is no mystery: we just need to be nicer to each other."[Times Online]
Here's Turnip sending some good things out into the world: I love Knightley. Love her. If you only see her in films, or in still photos, you might not know just how deeply funny she is. She cheerfully takes the piss out of herself, and is as down-to-earth as it's possible to be as a Big Fucking Star. She hasn't had it all easy, but she's well aware that she's been lucky. Very lucky.
Also, I really, really like that she has a kind of beauty that isn't always appreciated, but she just runs with what she's got. It sort of tickles me that she doesn't appear to feel uncomfortable having the breasts she does. I mean, as a girl who has more bosom than I know what to do with, I'd be arrested wearing something like this:
But I love that she has the humour and the self-possession to say, "Oh, what the fuck. Dese mah boobies, and dey iz nice."